Written By Lizzie Post, author of “Higher Etiquette A Guide to the World of Cannabis from Dispensaries to Dinner Parties.” More about the book here.
As individual states have taken cannabis legalization into their own hands, cannabis consumers and the canna- curious have had to navigate widely differing attitudes, permissions and levels of education and exposure when it comes to weed. In Colorado (where legal medical and recreational markets have been around for years) your AirBnB host might not even understand why you felt the need to ask if smoking a joint on the deck is allowed.
Whereas in Vermont (where there is a medicinally legal retail market, but recreational consumers are confined to homegrown (which they can gift and carry on their person), you may not only have trouble finding it, but may still get shushed for bringing up the subject around minors – despite its legal status. What’s a tourist to do?
The simple answer is to look up state laws when you’re traveling. Annoying and cumbersome though it may seem, this truly is the smartest and best way to understand the parameters you’ll be working with as you travel from state to state. Specifically you’ll want to be concerned with:
Procurement – How are you allowed to get that gorgeous sticky green into your happy hands? Can you purchase it? Does it have to be gifted to you? Do you need a medical card or license to even enter a store? Do the dispensaries accept out-of-state medical cards?
Amount – How much can you purchase or be given? How much can you carry with you?
Cannabis etiquette is not here to tell you to tie a bow on a joint before offering it to your host as a houseguest gift. But it can allow you to navigate legalized markets when you’re on a weed-cation or traveling around as a toking-tourist.
Product – What methods are legal for consumption? What forms and products are allowed to be purchased? Some states do not allow edibles, others do not allow smokable flower.
Location – Where are you allowed to consume your cannabis? So far no state has allowed public consumption. This means all those joint walks and bowls roasted at the top of the mountain you just climbed, out on the boat, or at the beach – let alone the millions of burn cruises happening – are all illegal usage, so fire up at your own risk.
Transport – How can you bring your cannabis from one location to another as you travel around? How much can you transport in your vehicle? What are the rules for how you can transport it? In some states, the packaging can’t be opened. Some states allow for seals to be broken, but the product can’t be within arms length of the driver.
What about crossing state lines between states that are legalized? So far, no state allows you to do this. Knowledge in this case is not just power, it’s safety and it allows you as a tourist or traveler to best respect the communities you’re engaging with. Cannabis etiquette is not here to tell you to tie a bow on a joint before offering it to your host as a houseguest gift. But it can allow you to navigate legalized markets when you’re on a weed-cation or traveling around as a toking-tourist. A few other considerations…
Smoking & Vaping Around Others – Whether you’re using a vape pen, hitting your bowl, or roasting a fattie be sure to respect those around you. If you’re indoors, offering to open windows, turn on a fan, or take your toke outside will put you in good stead with those around you. When outside, it’s equally important to step away from a group when you are the only one smoking and to stand downwind of others.
At The Dispensary – When entering a dispensary, be patient and kind with all who work there. Each state has different laws and procedures, and they change frequently. You may have to engage with a security guard at the door, or show your ID multiple times. Dispensaries also often have capacity limits and you may have to wait your turn. Be sweet about it. They didn’t make the rules.
Once you’re at the counter and working with your budtender, you’ll want to remain respectful and aware of any instructions you’re given like, not picking up the large glass jars of weed or not handling the individual nuggets of flower. It’s also important to be respectful of your budtender’s knowledge and experience.
When working with your budtender, it’s best to speak in terms of the experience you’re looking to have from the cannabis you purchase: “I’m looking for an uplifting day time high” or “I’d like something to relax with before bed.”
Respect Your Hosts – Whether you’re staying with friends as a houseguest or at a Bud n’ Breakfast, it’s imperative that you respect your host’s wishes for cannabis consumption onsite. If your host says no smoking inside, don’t stuff a towel under the door and get creative with the fan. Just go outside. This is also true if your host asks you not to mix tobacco and cannabis. Tobacco has a bigger impact on the furniture, walls and linens with which it comes in contact, and your host will know if you’ve used it either alone or with your weed in a spliff or blunt.
Now that you’re prepped and informed, we wish you the happiest of travels!
Pick up your copy of “Higher Etiquette A Guide to the World of Cannabis from Dispensaries to Dinner Parties” today.